By William H Sewell Jr.
This ebook reports the robust rhetoric of the nice pamphlet and the bright yet enigmatic considered its writer. William H. Sewell’s insightful research unearths the basic position performed through the recent discourse of political economic climate in Sieyes’s proposal and uncovers the concepts during which this proficient rhetorician received the assent of his meant readers—educated and wealthy bourgeois who felt excluded by way of the the Aristocracy within the hierarchical social order of the previous regime. He additionally probes the contradictions and incoherencies of the pamphlet’s hugely polished textual content to bare fissures that extend to the center of Sieyes’s thought—and to the center of the progressive venture itself.
Combining thoughts of highbrow heritage and literary research with a deep realizing of French social and political background, Sewell not just models an illuminating portrait of an important political rfile, yet outlines a clean viewpoint at the background of progressive political culture.
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Additional resources for A Rhetoric of Bourgeois Revolution: The Abbé Sieyes and What is the Third Estate?
The profound influence ofSieyes on rhe Declaration that was eventually adopted is made clear in Marcel Gauchet, "Rights of Man," in Furet and Ozouf, Critical Dictionary, pp. 818-28. Introduction 19 August the leadership of the Assembly passed definitively to other hands. The National Assembly finally completed its constitution for the nation and disbanded in September 1791. Because it had decided that none of its members could stand for election to the new Legislative Assembly, Sieyes retired from active politics until September 1792, when he was elected to the National Convention, a new constitutive assembly put in place after the insurrection of 10 August had overthrown the monarchy and established a republic.
Keith Michael Baker, Inventing the French Revolution: Essays on French Political 28 A Rhetoric of Bourgeois Revolution some of the work in this genre comes perilously close to traditional intellectual history, focusing on accurate reconstruction of ideas for their own sake rather than on using political texts to interrogate the revolutionary experience as a whole. In this atmosphere the abbe Sieyes and his ideas took on a new historical importance. Now that he was no longer cast as a mere spokesman for bourgeois interests, his political thought became worthy of study in its own right; indeed, in the new interpretive climate it could be seen as a key to the Revolution's central dynamic.
Madame de StaH, who admired him greatly, remarked that "the human race displeased him, and he knew not how to treat it. " He was, moreover, inclined to paranoia, and complained bitterly-occasionally even in his public speechesabout how he was calumniated and persecuted. "26 It is hard to imagine a man so cold, distant, and misanthropic playing so important a political role in any other era; surely only the French revolutionaries' passion for reasoned abstraction gave Sieyes his continuing influence in public life.